How to get the right profile picture for LinkedIn

What do your photographs say about you? How to get the right profile picture for LinkedIn

When you’re asking yourself how to get the right profile photo for LinkedIn, perhaps you need to ask why it’s important in the first place.

First impressions are everything. Now that our professional profiles are more visible than ever because of social media, we need to make sure we are getting it right. That’s why we need to think about what our profile photographs on platforms like LinkedIn say about us. 

Research show us that professional headshots can make you up to 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn, and 36 times more likely to receive a direct message. 

Those first impressions last. 

When you’re starting to build your personal brand, whether you’re looking for work or looking to build up your connections, it is the images we share that will help set us apart. Done well, they can help show people who we are, our story and our values. 

So let’s get down to it. 

How can we get the right profile picture for LinkedIn?

Choose a professional-looking photo...

You don’t always need a professionally-taken headshot, but you do need your LinkedIn profile photo to be one that shows you  in your best light. So let’s start by choosing one that looks as professional as possible. That is: 

An image that doesn’t have distracting backgrounds; one that’s well-lit and in focus, and it’s sharp and not pixelated or blurry. 

What it’s definitely not is your favourite holiday snap, a poorly taken selfie, an image that’s been taken at a random event from a million years ago, or one that simply doesn’t reflect your personal brand.

Thinking about taking a photograph specifically for your profile? Here are some top tips to make them more professional looking...

Call me biased because I’m a photographer, but you can’t beat a professional headshot session. But I get it, you might not be ready for that kind of commitment. So here are some of my top tips on how to make your photos more professional-looking.

1. Wear clothes you're comfortable in - but have a think about what those clothes will say about you. Is it smart casual like you'd go to work in? Or professional attire appropriate to your industry? Try to avoid anything that could be considered too revealing or distracting.

2. Choose a location you love - The location should reflect your personal brand as well as the industry you work in, but it should also be a place that makes you feel comfortable. If you're not a fan of having your picture taken, choose a place away from people.

3. Choose a neutral background - A neutral background that's not too busy can be a great way to ensure the focus in the image is on you, and not some distraction behind you. So think about what's going on around you and move your camera around to make sure you've got the least going on behind you.

4. Smile - A genuine smile will make a huge difference to your profile photo. It'll go a long way towards making you appear approachable and friendly.

6. Be authentic - be authentic and true to yourself in your images. I always say: just be yourself.

6. Crop the photo the right way - A headshot should really be an image of your head and shoulders. That way, the audience can see your expressions much better than in a full-body shot or in photographs with other people in them.

7. Edit lightly - We've all seen the apps that reverse the clock, or make us more beautiful, but remember: this kind of editing can go too far. It can look fake and, worse, confuse people when you meet them for the first time. We want to look like the person in our photographs.

8. Get feedback - Ask a friend or colleague for their opinion on your chosen image. Do they think it ticks all the boxes for a professional profile photo?

Remember – your LinkedIn profile photograph is an important part of your personal brand. It’s worth that extra bit of time to either choose or take the right photo that represents you in the best possible way. 

And if you’re consistent, sharing the same image across all your professional profiles, it will help you build your personal brand. It will also make it easier for others to recognise you. 

Interested in having a professional session?

If you’re ready to take the next step in building your personal brand…why not work with me?

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